Is it possible to change the blue hyperlink color in print/PDF?


Per my title above, I have looked both online and through the manual, and have not found a way to do this.

I did find a way to change this in the display settings, but that hasn’t translated over to either print or PDF.

Is this possible?

You probably found out already, that you can change the colour of internal links, but there is a statement in that description in the user manual that pertains to your query:

Color internal links
Enables internal link colouring. Hyperlinks to URLs will always be coloured in blue, as is the standard. You can select a different colour for internal cross-reference style links to set them apart. Click the colour chip to select a colour.

(Emphasis added.)

That’s is how the Mac PDF generator decorates links. The internal links are different because that’s a whole system built by hand on top of the stock PDF generator, and therefore we have control over how they look.

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I’ll counter that with an example from the UK broadsheet newspaper The Guardian where they use red for hyperlinks.

And a further counter with this from Firefox’s preferences setting page
Screenshot 2023-10-30 at 11.24.27

We don’t have to accept the de facto standard of blue if we don’t want to.

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Yes, you can change from the standard blue colour in systems that allow you to do so, which includes most browsers. You aren’t going to convince me that is not a standard when that is the base colour used by almost everything unless you change it (whether by settings or CSS).

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What I am trying to convince you of is that everywhere else that standard can be ignored by substituting the user’s choice and therefore Scrivener’s Compile option should also let users select the hyperlink colour too. If the user does not specify a colour then sure use the standard but don’t stop them from changing it as they wish.

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That’s is how the Mac PDF generator decorates links. The internal links are different because that’s a whole system built by hand on top of the stock PDF generator, and therefore we have control over how they look.

I guess reepicheep wants you to build another


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Thanks all,

So, everyone is stuck with blue for the time being, unless we switch some kind of system?

I was going to ask if this might be possible to change through the compiler via messing with html, css or markdown settings, but at the time it was a bit too technical and over my head.

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Coming back to this.

I searched “Web as Corpus” to find what that standard was. Found some interesting stuff such as Google used to render them in black. But the most revealing were W3C — the de facto standards body for all this HTML, XML, and web — recommendations who do not mandate “blue is the colour” but in one of their CSS guide has an explict code comment

/* traditional desktop user agent colors for hyperlinks */
:link { color: blue; }
:visited { color: purple; }

Probably best summarised by the wicked nasty system ChatGPT that output

There is no official standard that mandates hyperlinks to be rendered in blue. The choice of link colors is a design decision and can vary from one website or application to another. Blue has been a common choice for links historically, but it’s not a strict requirement.

But to be blunt the issue is that the slavish enforcement of a non-standard is blatant disability discrimination against users with visual cognition issues for example those with Scotopic sensitivity syndrome (sometimes erroneously called Meares-Irlen Syndrome) and need other than conventional colour schemes.

Would you agree that the following statements can all exist in the same universe:

  • The word ‘standard’ can refer to the observation of a conventional behaviour.
  • The word ‘standard’ can describe stock configurations for which there are no optional adjustments.
  • The word ‘standard’ can refer to the adherence to a specification or a mandate.

I’ll leave it to you to figure out which of these most closely describes how the word is being used in the manual, given what has already been said in this thread. Maybe in deducing which of these it is, you’ll remember what I’ve said three times now, and understand that increasing the vitriol in your argument doesn’t change anything about what we can do about it.

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Yes. That’s possible. If you create your own post-processing workflow (basically: “bring your own PDF-generator”), the sky is the limit.

This PDF was created from HTML output (CSS: a {color: red;}) using WeasyPrint:


That looks interesting:)
But would it be possible to do this in Scrivener, or are html links blue without exception?

Good questions. Let me start by putting it this way: It doesn’t matter (in this case).

Because there aren’t really “HTML links” in Scrivener, nor in the final PDF. They may look like it and act like it, but they aren’t. (Because they aren’t HTML-based.)

You can change the color of links in Scrivener (per theme), but that doesn’t reflect the way they are presented in the compiled PDF. As you already figured out.

But why? Because Scrivener tells the PDF-Engine “this is a hyperlink” (and not: “here’s something that looks like a link”) and the PDF-Engine takes it and makes the best out of it. In blue. Because why not.

As you see in my example: No, HTML links aren’t blue without exceptions. I made them look red. There’s no law against it. It’s easy to change via CSS and that is perfectly intended this way.

The main point is: I didn’t do anything in Scrivener to achieve this, nor did I let Scrivener handle the PDF creation (which defaults to blue links).

But you can tell Scrivener to do this… without Scrivener (or: after Scrivener?). See “24.22 Processing” in the manual for a start. And you can create a Compile format that more or less automates the whole ordeal (after the initial setup), so that it more or less works like any other built-in one.

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Thanks:) I’ll look there:)

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Yes, but what is “blue”? Compare Wikipedia’s link blue from Scrivener’s link blue to the - oh my word, how blue is that! - link to this very topic. (That said, the default theme blue for links is unambiguously blue! RGB(0, 0, 255)) But, so much for “standards” in general.

My one meaningful gripe is that the Scrivener link style does not appear in footnotes on screen, and that’s irksome because I can’t see at a glance that I remembered to make a link, which I did in fact do for Wikipedia.


PS I do note that Link colour in Scrivener can be changed under Options… Appearance… Textual Marks… Colours… Links, and that whatever the PDF generator does (by default) with what it is told is a link has nothing to do with Scrivener

Of course the lurid green of internal links in PDFs may or may not be related!


And of course: CSS.

Colour me neutral.

Having been a user group representative on SC18 and a national expert on WG8 “standard” to me means a formal document developed and issued by either ISO/IEC/CCITT or one of their national equivalent bodies (e,g, BSI, AFNOR, SIS, NIST). Everything else is “guidelines”. Microsoft et al even W3C and the IETB are not formal standards bodies.

Standards (when it comes to anything web) are entirely contextual. So the whole conversation above feels a bit… moot? As a web engineer (the day job) I’m lead by user requirements – sounds like being able to colour links is one of these.